NIHR BRC-MH Bioinformatics Seminar series 2014 – Dr Jo Knight

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Date(s) - 12/03/2014
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (MRC), Seminar Room A & B



Imaging Genetics – A data driven approach to a massive multivariate problem
Dr Jo Knight
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Joanne Murphy Professor in Behavioural Science
Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto
In imaging-genetics studies researchers attempt to identify genetic variants that influence brain structure with the hope of finding genes involved in complex traits where brain structure is altered. The difficulty with imaging genetics is the high dimensionality of the data from both Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) and genome wide association studies (GWAS). We take a two-step approach to ameliorate the multiple testing burden. To reduce the genetic data, we employ a bioinformatics database called Gene Ontology to focus only on specific genetic data associated with biological processes. To reduce the phenotype data we employ heritability estimates. As an example of the methodology we perform a genome wide association study of hippocampal volume using the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) sample.
Jo Knight is a Statistical Geneticist whose interests include the development of new methods for analyzing genomic data as well as applying known techniques to a large variety of datasets. Before moving to Toronto she worked at King’s College London in the Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill and the department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Guy’s Hospital.

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